Friday 26 June 2015

A missed opportunity

A missed opportunity. We have all had these, have we not? Mine happened when I was 22 years old. It is not something that weighs me down or leaves a deep pit in my heart, however I do think of it from time to time. What would my life be like if I had chosen the other path? Would I be happy? Would I have enjoyed it?

Regret. What is regret? In my case we can define it as a feeling of contrition over a missed opportunity. 

My Mothers first cousin is a world renowned Master Carver of Native Art. His name is Dempsey Bob. He has his work all over the world. Totem poles in Japan and another at Canada House in London England, Museums in Germany, Japan, BC. These are just a few at best. He is a Northwest carver who was born in the same village as my mother, Telegraph Creek. I wrote about it here. He is of Tahltan and Tlingit decent, as am I. However I am half as my father is English. 

This is Dempsey Bob.

What is this missed opportunity you ask? Dempsy wanted to teach someone in the family. Pass on this wonderful art. Now when you think about it, there are probably many people who would want to be taught by somebody so profound. And here was my shot. 

I was 22. I went to Terrace, BC with my Mother. I met with Dempsey at his shop in Terrace where they were working on a totem pole. He showed me around, he talked about the totem pole he was carving, showed me the tools. It was quite an experience.

Photo courtesy of Maori Art Market

I thought about it. A LOT. I was prepared to move to Terrace, BC and leave my immediate family, to move to be with my extended family and learn from one of the great ones. My family was excited, I was excited. 

I guess what happened next is what usually happens isn't it? I met a boy... oooo ahhhh. I didn't go. I stayed here in Edmonton. It ended up being the worst relationship I had ever been in, you can read that here

I guess this is how life goes sometimes. You have something in the palm of your hands and being young you discard it. I do wonder, what would it have brought me in life. I have always wanted to know more about my heritage, what better way that to immerse myself in it. But that time has gone and passed. I took a different path. Although, my choice to stay with said boy was probably a mistake, it all brought me to where I am now.  I am happy. I got everything I wanted. A man who loves me to the end of the earth and two beautiful children. 

So when I think of it. These missed opportunities, well..... They could have been a grand wonderful life. They could have changed my life in ways I can not imagine. But in another time I guess. I think sometimes your life has a way of paving its own path. Why did I chose to stay? Maybe life chooses what you should be, maybe I was ultimately meant to be a wife and a mom of these two little girls. I guess we will never know. And thus, why it was and is a missed opportunity. 

I do hope that there is someone to pass on this tradition to, because it is something you don't want people in the future talking about as a lost art. 

I hope it lives on.

Have you read my last post 20 Rules for Daddy's with Daughters? Click here


  1. This is so awesome Susan. I had many missed opportunities also. The funny thing is I;m kind of glad now as my crooked path has lead em to blogging the one thing I love more than anything and for that I am grateful for. It is still very awesome to read about this. I also have a family in New Zealand who are famous for having a covered in beautiful shells. I will have to write about it. Angela xx

    1. I would love you to write about it. I hope you do soon. I think about this often however I am very happy where I am in life now.

  2. This is such an amazing post for two reasons. 1) You make such a good point and 2) it is just so fascinating to hear about what you could have done. You are right though, you may never have had your gorgeous children or met their Dad. Life is funny sometimes but things happen for a reason! Thanks so much for linking up to #bestandworst and come back next time xxx

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. :)


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